Panel seeks more info on Bhushan Power’s Odisha coal block

New Delhi: A high-level panel has sought more information, including detailed ecological study, before providing recommendation on environmental clearance for Bhushan Power and Steel's coal block in Odisha, a move that might delay the development of the mine.
Bijahan coal block in Odisha was among the mines that were found by the government to be not properly developed despite being alloted way back in 2006.
"The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) after deliberation recommended the proposal for TOR (Terms of Reference)," an official document said.
A ToR is the first step in the environmental assessment process. It is a framework or work plan for the preparation and evaluation of the EA submitted to the government for review and a decision.
The committee desired that a detailed ecological study should be carried out, an alternate land for grazing should be provided in R&R (rehabilitation and resettlement) and status of any litigations/court cases filed/pending on the project should be provided, among others.
"There is a court case with the project proponent. A notice have been received from Ministry of Coal…for deduction of Bank Guarantee amount of Rs 6.49 crore, against which company has filed a writ petition in Delhi High Court. The matter is sub-judice and recovery has been stayed," the document said.
Bijahan coal mine in Odisha, with a production capacity of 5.26 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), was jointly allocated to Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd and Shri Mahavir Ferro Alloys Pvt Ltd in January, 2006.
The inter-ministerial group (IMG) on coal blocks had last year recommended deduction of bank guarantee for delaying the development of the mines. The recommendations of the IMG were later considered and accepted by the government.